Abdullahi Ganduje, governor of Kano state, says the agitation of secessionists is not the solution to the challenges confronting the country.
Ganduje spoke on Thursday at a public lecture in Abuja organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) Press Corps.
There has been clamour for the Biafran Republic by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and an Oduduwa Republic by ‘Yoruba Nation’ groups in the south-west.
The governor said the secessionists should have a change of heart and embrace dialogue over their grievances.
“Let me repeat here that Nigeria is a united and indivisible country. Our constitution has taken care of that. I don’t see secession as the way out of the current challenges afflicting the nation,” he said.
“Instead, advocates of secession should have a change of heart and I recommend dialogue as a crucial option for addressing their problems.
“Besides, there is a National Assembly where some of the grievances can be addressed. Because dialogue is a far better alternative that costs less than consequences of the wedge that has been erected to frustrate more flow of conversations between the government and citizens to arrive at a national consensus.
“And the sooner we face issues such as the huge infrastructure deficit, our shrinking oil revenue, looming food insecurity as a consequence of insecurity in our agriculture zones, the better.”
The governor said Nigeria cannot afford another civil war, noting that countries who have broken up are still in crisis.
“Can we afford another civil war? No we cannot. Nigeria will continue to be a united Nigeria,” he said.
“See Ethiopia, Sudan that have broken up are still in crisis. See south Sudan today.”
According to him, the world will not respect Africa if Nigeria breaks up.
“The world will not respect Africa anymore if Nigeria comes to harm and our ‘Mandela The Great’ won’t sleep well if we blow up this opportunity to lead the black race,” Ganduje said.
“That is why we the leaders need to come together to appeal to our aggrieved people who are agitating for self-determination at this time.
“The ‘Biafran’ agitators and a small section of the Yoruba nation agitating for Oduduwa Republic should therefore always have this at the back of their minds in their political calculations and transformations.”